Sunday, May 1, 2011
Richard and I began contemplating what we would do for our final project. Being that we both have experience using and monitering various discussion boards on the internet, we chose to create one for edm 310. We invision this tool, if Dr. Strange so chooses, as another place to both access and discuss the material we have covered in edm 310. Right now the board is on a freeware server so it will need more effective hosting if it is to be what Richard and myself invisioned it could be. For me, it would be a great place for students to share more of their experiences and work amongst one another. Feel free to register and look around
In lieu of blog post 14, we were asked to examine the use of metaphors like the one we encountered in Mr. Spencer’s Pencil Me In Blog. Here we saw the idiocy behind many peoples view on technology, and its affects on students; the use of “pencils” here is a great way to show just how important technology is. No one would say that pencils might be harmful to students test scores or cause them harm, but yet we say that about the pencil of the 21st century, the laptop. This particular example demonstrates just how metaphors are used; the use of one word or words, and the concepts related to them, to explain the idea behind another. But metaphors go beyond using to unrelated words to explain a concept, it is also something that should give great insight into what someone is trying to convey. Again look to Mr. Spencer’s example to better understand the power of language; he is trying to convey that computers and technology are just as important to educational endeavors as pencils. The first time around I understood that the “pencils” did represent something else that was related till technology, but it wasn’t until I actually began to post my thoughts that I realized it was a direct response to another blog post regarding 1 for 1 computers for students. I don’t believe, at least I hope, none of my fellow classmates believed that this post was actually about pencils, but perhaps a little further investigation is warranted to better extrapolate
As far as a log of the metaphors I have been encountering recently, they are pretty much the common ones that people use in their everyday lives such as “Achilles heel” or “put on the back burner”. The best one I Think so far has been the “meat in the sandwich” used to describe the sustenance of a point or conversation. I believe the commonality of most of the metaphors I have encountered is evidence of the direction educators must take in order to better aid students in understanding the use of metaphors. So many of us don’t even notice the metaphors that we use on a daily basis; if teachers would start by explaining some of these common metaphors meanings, as well as how the function to better elaborate the idea they are attempting to convey, perhaps they could better grasp the concept of the metaphor and how powerful it is in language.
The first post I encountered on her blog was about developing a PLN. The post was a basic outline of the numerous different things that can be a part of one's PLN, and there was also a slide show accompanying the post that went into a little more detail on the topic.
April 17th, 2011 at 11:17 am
I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class, and i just wanted to say thank you so much for all of the material available on your blog. Also thank you for the numerous slide shows; they are a wealth of information. This particular post was of great interest to me because we are posting status on the development of our own PLN as a part of our class assignments. so needles to say any information is always appreciated.
Again thank you so much for your contributions.
The next post was on the general concepts of technology and its relation to education. Given Silvia's knowledge of the matter, I took some of her statements to be very important for teachers to remember. The basic premise of the post was that technology is most effective when used by teachers who are "good" without it.
May 1st, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Just like everything else i have had the pleasure of reading on your blog, this piece is so enlightening! Your point, that great teaching is based on teachers and not supplemental “add-ons”, is one that i feel like a lot of people miss. Technology will not make a below average teacher a great one, especially if they lean on technology in order to support their ineffective teaching methods, but can be an invaluable tool for good teachers. I loo forward to continually checking in with you for more great insight like this. Feel free to stop by myblog or Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 blog.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
While i found the podcast area to be interesting, especially since that seems like a great resource for both students and teachers, it was the Lessons Plans section that really caught my attention. Each subject has its own set of lesson plans, completely searchable lists based on grade level, and those sections contain an abundance of lessons geared toward a specific grade range. But what makes the site so amazing, at least to me, is the opportunity it creates for collaboration; teachers can submit lessons as well as alter existing materials. It reminded me of the smart exchange website, but better geared to the Alabama Learning Standards that each subject should meet.
ACCESS Distant Learning (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide) is the first thing we have discussed in this class aimed at equality. The initiative is admirable, seeking to grant access to a variety of opportunities for students with the greatest need, but seems to be missing the idea of "equality" that they so admirably declare in their mission statement. The areas they are attempting to address, which are vaguely laid out, are not addressing so many of the institutional practices that are aimed at excluding students of color.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
The first post I commented on was a "what if scenario" regarding technology. The purpose of much of the post was to bring to light how so many of the common complaints about education could be fixed through methods that a freely available online or by computer usage.
My response: Mr. McLeod I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the university of South Alabama. I find your statements to be quite poignant; we are on the verge of a revolution in our society in regards to technology. Education, through association, is a major stronghold against these advancements. The overzealous desire to keep the “traditional” methods of education alive will be the downfall of its future.
His most recent post was taking what we know about the state of modern trends, and extrapolating from thoes trends what the future means for education. My Response: Mr. Mcleod, Again you have blown my mind sir; with what we know about modern trends regarding media and how we consume it, it is easy to deduce what education needs to look like in order to remain relevant. Implementing these trends into education will be the pivotal question in how important education will be to our society again fee free to visit my blog if you are interested in other material we are covering in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at South Alabama.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
C4K assignment 3 was a first grade class from the same school. The really interesting aspect is how well the students comment, even across grades, on other students work.
My final C4K assignment 6 was a very interesting topic. The class was a Year 5/6 in Tauranga, N.Z These students had been studying how greek art was influenced by its culture; in keeping with this theme they had a slideshow of the work the class had done mimicing some of the greek techniques and culture.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
So what does all this information mean for the students of tomorrow? The predominance of their exposure to literature will be through mediums such mediums, and teachers must have working knowledge to capitalize on students predisposed knowledge. The ready availability to a wide range of texts, many of which are difficult to locate in print, make the movement toward e-readers a logical step for the future of education.
But more importantly than the specific breakthroughs in ways to consume “print” media, the impact of the digital influence on information is without question the biggest impact of multimedia on educators. The ever evolving information that is available to all individuals in the 21st century is astounding; educators must stay abreast of how to navigate this informational thoroughfare in order to better use such knowledge for the benefits of their students as well as their own.
Both “EDM 310 for Dummies” and “Chipper” were well thought out, and entertaining in the educational context of the intended purpose. While I found these videos somewhat informative, other videos regarding the actual process talked about in EDM 310 for dummies would be exceptionally helpful. I personally have no desire to participate in such video related endeavors but will always offer up harsh criticism whenever possible.
That being said, I feel that the attitudes displayed in the “chipper” video shed a harsh light on the attitudes of many students regarding their own education.
Learn to Change, Change to Learn is a video that features educators sharing their thoughts on the change technology has made in the classroom. They begin by talking about the environment of communication that kids of the 21st century participate in daily; this type of environment can be ideal for enriching materials and promoting discussion. They continue to talk about the flaws in the traditional brick and mortar schools, which there are many, and how it needs to become a place for communal projects rather than a confining space that limits the creativity of its occupants.
The most important part of the video is the opportunity teachers need to hav a network of proven strategies that work with 21st century students. In order to enable students with the skills they need for the jobs of the future, collaboration is a huge tool in accomplishing such lofty aims. A community of shared interest in education in a technologically advanced way can foster new ways to take advantage of the endless amounts of information that we have at our fingertips.
The Secret Power of Time speaks volumes to me about the nature of future learners. 10,000 hours playing video games by the time a male turns 21; this astonishing statistics has real implications for the future of these students. By placing such interactive participants in their environment into one that is bound by control and power dynamics, we are setting these students up to develop aversions to the classroom environment that we all know. This animated short regarding how the passage of time and the three types of thinkers past, present, and future shows just how we can use technology to aide these different types of individuals when we encounter them in our classroom
Drive was a very enlightening video. I had no idea of the results of any such research, and that was a wealth of knowledge. Basically the video describes the results of multiple tests run by top economist regarding motivation and its relation to monetary incentives. While at first it seems almost implausible, but soon you begin to think about what kind of effects monetary reward systems actually have. Implementing this type of rewards system you have effectively changed the focus from the creative ingenuity that people display naturally to some pressure filled, anxiety ridden game. This information is great for anyone who has to learn how to create an environment that depends on productivity.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
We all remember our career aspirations as children; the advent of modern television brought so many worlds into each of our own that we undoubtedly we became fascinated with some unique profession that many told us was unobtainable. Pausch’s dreams reflect some of this same idea. A product of the sixties and seventies, Pausch was privy to an era where anything seemed possible; this generation of human achievement stoked a fire inside Pausch that would propel his creative forces. While many of his goals may seem mundane, such as his desire to win very large stuffed animals, the way he went about attaining these goals is what is truly inspirational.
One of the aspects he discussed multiple times was “walls” and how these affect you pursuit of your dreams. This concept is true to all of us; no matter the numerous professions I sought after, there have always been things that deterred me from continuing. What makes Pausch’s thoughts regarding this so poignant is his attitude; he states that those walls are to keep other people out. While this statement was received with laughter, it is probably the best advice he imparted. This never say die attitude is exactly why he was able to achieve the amazing things he did during his lifetime.
Pausch’s lecture really applies best to teachers when he discusses how to enable others dreams, which he stated can be more rewarding than fulfilling your own. Pausch’s firm belief in the creativity of the human mind is evident. Pausch is an example of many of the principals Ken Robinson discussed earlier in the semester; By growing up in a generation of education that was not solely focused on the standardized test performance, Pausch was able to not only foster his own creativity, but also that of others.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
The second post was a google presentation on creating a safe learning environment. At first the title of the presentation is a little deceiving, the presentation is actually focused on creating more of a nuturing environment. Greta's focus on creating a shared sense of community and clear rules are really great points that every teacher needs to understand in order to provide the best environment for their students.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
My second comment was on Sebastian's blog in New Zealand. His post was very inspirational; the classes had just received their own personal notebooks. Needless to say, seeing schools in other countries take such great initiative to put technology in the hands of their students should inspire us to do the same.
The last comment, from Mrs. Wolfe's class in Birmingham, was a little strange. Firstly the post was anonymous which I found to be strange given that it originated from a class blog, but most notably was it's subject matter. The blog dealt with the idea of believing in God even though you can't see him. While I consider myself to be a believer, the condescending nature of the post seemed a little offsetting given the Author's intentions. But the case was made lucidly, all be it dramatically, therefore I believe the mission was accomplished.
My PLE was a very enlightening look into how students can use technology to take control of
their education; this system puts the student at the center of their own classroom experience. The main difference between a PLE and a PLN, at least to an amateur observer like me, is the socialization. PLNs are predicated on the interacting among students to share and critique information. While the PLE is a great way to more effectively organize a student’s education, PLNs are what the fusion of education and technology should be; an actual experience that extends beyond the classroom and allows students to enhance their education in ways that could not be possible in the regular classroom.
While SMARTboards are a good first step toward integrating technology into the classroom, there are several arguments for and against their use in the classroom. Why SMARTboards are a dumb initiative argues that this technology is nothing unique, but rather an extension of a monitor with only minor bells and whistles. The really interesting statement made in this article regarding SMARTboards was made in reference to how administrators support such technology based simply on their status as technology rather than their effectiveness.
Bill Ferriter states in his article Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards, “Sure, my students thought it was nifty, but it didn’t make teaching my required curriculum any easier. I probably crafted two or three neat lessons with it, but there was nothing unique about those activities. I could have easily put together similar lessons using the computer stations I already have in my room and any number of free online tools.” This stament heartily supports why teachers see the interactive white board as ineffective, but it does possibly point to the root of such animosity from teachers. The above statement is all about said educator; rather than seeing the potential such technology had by interesting the over caffeinated students of the 21st century, he decided to abandon the initiative because it wasn’t making his lesson “easier”. This experience is great contrast to the one presented in Mr. P's SMART Board blog; here we have the account of a teacher implementing this technology into a primary school classroom. He document how his students specific interest in the technology spurred him on to continue to find ways to use it in his lessons.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
This video also demonstrates the way that podcast can enrich subject matter. By using voice acting during their readings, Mr. Dell was able to make his sixth grade social studies class lessons something more than words on a page. This is proof that podcasting can generate the creativity that is so important to the future of our students. Mediums such as podcasting embrace both the artistic and the practical; refreshing teaching methods like these are pivotal to our advancement as educators.
100 Ways to Your iPod to Learn and Study Better is very reminiscent of iSchool; it outlines programs already available on the iPod that students can use to help them I their education. Personally I believe Spark Notes is the greatest innovation for English students ever, and many of the other applications seem more than practical for use in the classroom.
With all these great reasons for apple technology in the classroom, why do so many teachers insist on barring all cell phones from classrooms? Overwhelmingly people are using their Smartphones to replace both their phone and iPod touch. This trend is evidence that, in order for technology to find its needed place in the classroom, teachers are going to have to make a conscious effort to embrace this technology, and change their outdated view of phones as a nuisance.
The Educational Podcasting Network is a very interesting aspect that I don’t believe many of us have considered when regarding podcasting; using podcasting as a way for other teachers to connect and share experiences with one another can be vital to the future of classroom advancements. By sharing their experiences, teachers can collaborate with one another in an effort to find new and innovative ways to educate children. Hopefully communities like this can provide current and future educators an the ever evolving nature of the classroom.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Another interesting aspect that this post touches on is the human innate human fear of technology. This common fear demonstrates how some people believe technology will eventually “takeover” our lives, and, if we do not preserve the old pen and paper methods, our children won’t be able to think for themselves. This preposterous idea read like the most popular of science-fiction novels; however, it is true that technology can lead to a disconnect or loss of individuality. These extreme fears are simply the fear of progress that occurs naturally among human beings. Progress is inevitable; the sooner people come to accept it, the better off our futures will be.
The iSchool Initiative is an inspirational look at how technology could change schooling forever. This video, made in 2009, shows how an iPod touch could be used in the classroom to better streamline the public schooling process; with the innovative platform and apps that were already developed for the iPod, iSchool-ing could become a way to increase the quality and productivity of education, as well as helping to adapt t the growing number of budget cuts.
Thanks to the revived interest in the tablet, companies are now developing systems and applications that make this revolution even more feasible. The iPad has taken the concept of replacement for textbooks, chalkboard, and other outdated methods to a whole new level. This reimagining of an outdated idea might just be one of the first steps in the technological revolution for public schools.
The Lost Generation is a clever video used to present two very different futures. The use of Gertrude Stein’s moniker “Lost Generation” as a means of expressing discontent with the direction of American Society is quite poetic; the ides of negative development expressed here are the in the same vein as Pound, Hemmingway, and Elliot who saw their future American as world they did not ascribe.
The clever use of language is fitting giving the library context; by simply reversing the order, it demonstrates the delicate nature of future events. It is imperative that we understand both outcomes presented in the video in order to have an affect on the outcome.
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir is a great example of how technology can bring people together to better accomplish a common goal. The 12 countries that are represented, and the seamless quality of the performance, demonstrate the power of technology.
The other interesting aspect of this video is its affirmation of how technology can spark creativity. This group could have never assembled without the aide of technology. The ability to enhance creativity through technology is something we must continue to explore and employ.
Teaching In the 21st Century, much like iSchool, is evidence of the obsolete nature of the traditional school methods. The idea that students can access any information at anytime, and that teachers are only a medium through which this mass amount of information is filtered, speaks volumes. With the rapid change in technology, teachers need to understand this change in the teaching landscape, and become a guide rather than a lecturer.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Monday, January 31, 2011
The outdated teaching methods are poisoning the future of the world. If we use the information that we have gathered so far ,regarding the positive effects of technology in education, we could possibly decrease the dangerous dropout rate and even begin to prepare children in elementary and middle schools for the rapid changing job market in order to make more informed decisions involving their academic pursuits.
It's Not About The Technology is a great post concerning the future of education. of course technology plays a role in that future of teachers and students, but that is not the only obstacle facing our students. The methods that have dominated education could benefit from the influx of technology, but teachers have to change their own outdated mindsets before technology can even begin to fill this gap.
The idea that teachers need to be life-long learners is very true, but not only for the reason mentioned in this post. Yes, in order to keep up with the modern trends that can help enrich our classrooms; however without stimulating our own minds with satisfying academic activities, we loose sight of what it means to be a student. Given the fact that the most important step toward better education in the 21st century starts with the curriculum, how can we expect teachers to be critically thinking about such an issue without pursuing their own academic enlightenment. Lack of stimulation creates a stagnant environment for both teachers and students.
Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher blog post by Karl Fisch is really what EDM 310 is all about. The comparison to reading in the 20th century and technology in the 21st century is very insightful; no one would have hired a teacher who could not read or write since the beginning of education. So why should teachers not be asked to understand the movement of the 21st century that will become as important to society as reading is?
The load on teachers doesn't go without notice; it will be up to new generations of teachers to be educated in these new trends. Classes like ours, be it in high school or college, will attempt to prepare new educators for the rapid changing society they will soon be thrust into. With so many advances everyday how can students be expected to understand a world confined by pencil, paper, and chalk. It is our job to stimulate students, and without technology this task will be nearly unlikely.
Watch the Social Media Count is evidence to how technology is driving modern society; technology has become the medium that drives communication. If teachers can use such a powerful force to not only stay connected with kid's and parents, but to spark the individual creativity of our unique children.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The majority of the information shared in this video was a little shocking; our progression as a society, just over the past twenty years, is astounding. I had no idea that the trends in technology were moving so fast that, by the time I graduate from South, everything I learned will be outdated. I always suspected as much, but it’s nice to know my suspicions have been affirmed.
What the video did make me think about is the power of social media; the fact that Facebook was able to reach 50 million in 2 years speaks volumes to the power of such a medium. One of the most common complaints I hear from educators I know, even those that have inspired me to follow in their footsteps, is that they often do not feel as though they are “connecting” with their students. Dr. Robert Gray, one of the finest professors on the USA campus I assure you, used Facebook to create dialogue amongst my specific class, and more often than not some of our best class discussions occurred outside of the classroom. I attributed these powerful discussions to the freedom and convenience a medium like Facebook can provide as opposed to a classroom setting.
While such an example is evidence of how powerful current technology can be for both students and teachers, this particular video is a reminder of how quickly these methods can become outdated. As future educators we must strive to keep abreast with technological trends in order to keep our use of technology relevant to the world in which our students live.
Mr. Winkle Wakes:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm1sCsl2MQY
As a future English teacher I found this video very enlightening. Washington Irving’s famous short story is a commentary on how the difference in political regime had no real affect on the everyday lives of the towns-people. Such a satirical premise take on an entirely different meaning when viewed through the lens of technology.
So many of today’s schools do not have access to the type of technology they need to prepare their students for the ever changing future.
Even institutions of higher learning, such as the University of South Alabama, place road blocks for students to access technology for enrichment of certain classes. The idea that all students only bring laptops or tablets to class in order to use their Facebook is well founded, thank you to my peers for having nothing better to do with you class time, but technology offers so many tools for students to expand their education. Knowing how effective technology can be in understanding and applying the subject matter of most higher education courses, it seems like we cannot afford to keep classes technologically “naked”.
The Importance of Creativity: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html
This video demonstrates the affect that “high-stakes testing” and other standards movement practices have had an impact on the creativity amongst students. So often teachers focus on student’s ability to retain subject matter rather than their ability to understand it. If a student truly understands the methods he is being taught in his literature class he can then begin to create works like he is studying rather than being tied down to those of the past. Our world is evolving and we to must evolve with it. In order for this evolution to take place we need to encourage the children of today to use their creativity to create the subject matter of the future.
I think the fear of many of today’s professional to acknowledge that, in a very short time, their experience and education will be eclipsed. The idea that our education system is geared toward producing university professors is intriguing, but upon consideration this is perhaps the truest statement of this entire lecture. We need to realize that intelligence is diverse; simply because a student does not know his or her times tables does no mean that their ability to create beautiful art is indicative of their lack of intelligence.
Kids Press Corps Interview: http://blogs.scholastic.com/kidspress/2010/09/breaking-creative-myths.html
The more I hear about Sir Ken Robinson, the more enlightened I become. The really intriguing aspect of this interview is the interest the young girl is taking in global education. She understands the differences in the institutional factors that affect each country. Her ability to attend a performing art school at such a young age is a crucial step in the direction that Robinson is so passionate about; this type of creative reinforcement gives Cecilia the opportunity to expand on her passions in order to build a better educational experience.
Robinson’s statement about the three myths of creativity speaks to how our society views “education”; rather than having institutions that enrich children’s individual talents, in order to help them cultivate their own unique abilities, school is viewed as the indoctrination center where creativity is replaced by test scores and outdated standards.
Harness Your Students Smarts is an example of how the use of technology in the classroom can open so many doors for students, teachers, and even entire schools. These students in rural Georgia are able to experience the similarities and differences of an entirely different culture all through the technology in their high school classroom; these experiences open students up to the world around them, and make our students a valuable part of the new globalized industries of tomorrow.
Another great aspect of this video was the industriousness of the teacher who started this remarkable program. Her willingness to meet curricular standards, while still using the student’s individual strengths and weaknesses to accomplish these goals, is what makes this particular class so effective. Only with more teachers like Vicki Davis can education become both technologically advanced and focused on the individual talents of the unique students we come in contact with.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The second post( 2/1 ), was brainstorming ways to incorporate a "blended" math class; blended being a mix of virtual and face to face instruction. I elaborated on personal experiences so far in classes that employed online components to their curriculum. I suggested that ,with Mr. Fisch's technological knowledge, he could incorporate a traditional type of class shell online with some of the latest educational technology to create a unique experience.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Hello to all of my fellow classmates; my name is Barry Wall. I am a
Despite the fact that I have lived in